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Mother on methadone...can she lose custody?
Mother on methadone...can she lose custody?
My daughters mother has been going to the methadone clinic for a little over one year now. Right now we are still together although I am calculating my options after I leave her.
This is a very long story but I will try to make it short. My daughters mother is addicted to methadone and is going to the clinic for over one year. Prior to that she was using methadone from the street for a least a year. I have noticed over the past 6 months that she has been nodding out throughout the day and I think she is taking additional methadone and Xanax as well. If she were to be drug tested I would bet money Xanax would be present. (Not prescribed). I strongly feel that my daughter would be in danger if I didn't get custody of her when we break up. I have stopped allowing her to drive with her in the car. I try not to leave her alone for long periods of time. She nods out with her in her arms, standing up and I have caught her nodding while driving. Which is why I drive now. Her dose is right at 200mg per day. When confronted about nodding out, she gets defensive and denies it. She just says she is sleepy.
I can keep going for a long time with details. My main question is what all do ihave to do I order to get full custody of my daughter? Is just the fact that she is going to the methadone clinic and is addicted enough and all I need? I have taken pictures of her bottles, her nodding off and videos of her nodding. I have also found 4 bottles of frozen urine in the freezer. I'm assuming to ensure a clean piss test for her at the clinic.
I have searched all over online but and haven't really found any articles on this. Can someone please help? Personal stories would be helpful. I am very worried about the safety of my child.
Can anyone help with this? I am desperately needing to give my lawyer all the ammo I can. Any help is appreciated.
200mg a day is a pretty high dose, no wonder she is nodding off. the clinic will back her, saying she is stable, thats what methadone is about. but, the frozen pee in the freezer and possibly a drug test may catch her out taking extra stuff. thats your best bet.
good luck. tough place to be. but yeh,not that good at all for your kid being around a nodding off junkie. not good. all the best
I didn't post as i was waiting for someone like cheeky to chime in, as she knows about methadone. I'm not sure you can get away with freezing urine for drug testing. Seems it would change the composition and the screening people would know. Xanax + methadone: bad combination. And like cheeky said 200mg. of methadone? The xanax with the methadone can be a lethal combination. I don't know what your history is with your child's mother is, but have you tried to get her to stop? Get some help? I'm assuming that you've tried. She certainly is not safe with a child. A drug test, like cheeky said may catch her out. Doesn't the clinic require that periodically?
I think that freezing it does work. It's gone from 5 bottles to one left. She hasn't failed a test at the clini yet. Yes, 200mg of methadone daily. I'm not sure how much Xanax. I know it's deadly. Sad thing is that she knows that too. Very well. I'm not sure how often the clinic tests her but they do it there.
I have tried everything to get her to stop. I'm done trying. I just need facts and experiences to help me get custody and save my child from that dangerous atmosphere. If she wasnt abusing it, it wouldn't be a problem. When methadone is not abused it does serve its purpose. Right now she is abusing it.
I will have much better confidence if I hear some personal stories or some advice.
Originally Posted by Needinghelpplease
Dear Needing Help,
If I were in your shoes, there's a few places I'd turn to for advice. First, I'd make a call to Social Services and ask THEIR advice on how to proceed. You don't have to give your name, just ask for their suggestions of HOW to keep your daughter safe - and gain custody of her.
Second, I'd call an attorney, and ask their advice on HOW to justify the claims of drug abuse in a custody situation. He or she would have first hand knowledge, if they'd dealt with these issues before.
Third, I'd talk to her counselor/case manager at the methadone clinic - OR her doctor - and ask them to PLEASE do some unscheduled drug testing on her. Explain your worries about your daughter. You do not have to tell them that you plan to leave her and seek sole custody; just tell them that you're fearful that she is abusing drugs above and beyond what the clinic gives her. The testing would have to be done at a time when she least expects it - and without advance warning - and does not have any way to get to her freezer for her clean urine supply.
When you decide to leave, you have just as much right to take your daughter with you when you move out (or keep her in the house as you ask the mother to leave) as the child's mother would have. Custody is considered to be shared between parents UNLESS there is a legal document that states that only one parent has physical custody. So, you can leave with your child - and it is NOT abduction. Go straight to the court to file for temporary custody. A hearing will be scheduled for it - and you can bring whatever evidence you have available to you. (i.e., pictures of the frozen urine, pictures of the pill bottles, pictures of her nodding off, etc. Hopefully, you'll also have the results of the unexpected, unscheduled drug test, too.) The judge will enter a decision for temporary custody. From there, you'll need to get more evidence to bolster your case, if she decides to fight you for custody.
Right now, every minute that you leave your child in her care is not only putting your child at risk - but it is also going to lessen the strength of your case in court. The court will see that you continued to allow the mother to care for the child while she was abusing drugs - and that will be something you have to answer for. The sooner you take the child from her care, the better.
i pray things work out for you and your daughter.
You will know the truth - and only the truth can set you free.
be smart about this because the safety of your daughter is the most important... you don't want to risk having her spend ANY time in foster care during this ordeal, so get yourself down to a courthouse and file for sole custody... the drug thing may or may not be enough to ensure you will keep full custody, but, in most cases (this changes due to your locatoin as well as depending on the judge involved) the parent that files first gets custody... don't tip your hand by letting her know what you plan, because this goes for her as well!
good luck... the safety of our children is paramount to the survival of our society....
Thank you all for you info.
Today I met with my attorney. She recommended that I bring my girlfriend in to sign a custody agreement giving me full custody including child support and with supervised visits until she can prove to be off of the illegal drugs that she is taking n top of the methadone. FYI, I recorded her on my phone admitting to taking Xanax on a regular basis. Honestly, I think she may be logistically addicted. I start my new job next Monday so my nome will finally be coming in as I have been unemployed for 5 months. Thankfully I was. If I was still employed (traveling 5days per week, 6 months per year), I wouldn't be able to get custody. Plus, I wouldn't have been able to find out about how messed up she was getting in a regular basis.
So, I think their is a 50/50 chance of her signing the paperwork on the same day giving me full custody. The thing is, I can basically put her in the corner by saying that if this goes to court I will required a hair follicle drug test which will show her drug use on top of the methadone and my feelings is that if we go down that road that there is no way a judge will rule in her favor. My problem is that she isn't very intelligent and is very hard headed. She might think that by leaving without signing and attempting to get legal representation that I don't think she can afford anyway, that she may have a chance.
So, I need help in planning this out. Please tell me if. Should do anything different and if I am doing anything wrong. I will go ahead and get an apartment, get my stuff that is now in storage and fill it up. I have al,so everything I need except beds. In the meantime, silently get, most of the stuff that I own out of her house that she wouldn't notice. Then while she is away, take my daughter, inform my attorney to go ahead and file for temporary custody with an emergency hearing. Then ask my girlfriend to meet me at my attorneys office and see if she will sign the papers. I hope that she does.
Honestly, I don't even want child support from her. I know. Well always make much more money than her. She will most likely average less than ten bucks per hour. I will be closer to 100k. I don't do drugs anymore and will come clean on hair follicle. She won't. I truly feel that. Have a great chance to succeed in getting custody. Most importantly, I know that I can provide a more stable and much better living than my girlfriend.
If you all have any help, ideas, insight or worries about what I have explained, please let me now. This is a monumental part of my life and I want to do everything. Can to not make a mistake while planning my daughters future. I plan on initiating this the firs week of January. After all the holidays. I'm taking a chance by taking so long but. Just want to make it past her birthday which is dec 1st and the holidays so my little one can have one more holiday and birthday together. Is me waiting this long a good idea? Or should I do t sooner?
Sorry for this being so long. Today has just been a very informative day as well as the start of the rest of my daughters life. If I am successful, I know that her upbringing will be so much better than it would be with her mother. Thank you all for your information. It is all helpful and I read every word.
I know I am extremely late seeing this and I know you have probably gotten everything figured out by now but maybe this will be helpful to someone else. Yes, your daughter is taking xanax with the methadone bc after being on it that long she would not be nodding out at all. I know this from personal experience. I was at the clinic for 7yrs. after having to sign temp. custody over to my parents and the only reason I didn't lose all custody was bc I quit the clinic cold turkey and I do not recommend that anyone stop cold turkey, its very dangerous and very hard on your body. I know she is failing drug screens and I am sure her clinic does as well. I was in this same boat, I overdosed 3 times in 2 mths. Its no joke, and the mix is very addictive. I went almost 6 weeks cold turkey and after not eating that whole time and never sleeping, I knew I would die if I did not do something.... so I checked myself into the suboxone clinic. I am not on subutex and klonopin, been there for 6 mths. and I'm still adapting to the meds. bc their a lot diff. from what I am used to but I am in a war with myself all the time, not to return there. The judge is still watching and motoring me, he see's me every 90 days and he also monitors my drug test from the suboxone clinic. WHich I have improved tremendously. I am going next week for a physical to see what kind of damage I have done to my body bc I do not feel healthy and have lots of symptoms to prove. So for anyone in the methadone program, use the program properly, and don't abuse it bc its hard to start and all it brings is legal trouble and you not being able to control yourself. And eventually you will not be able to control yourself no matter how much you think you can. But like I said if you do the program like your supposed to, you will not have anymore problems.